Berlin has paid tribute to everyone who tried to break through the 155-kilometer, 3.6-meter-high wall that was erected 59 years ago today to divide the city for nearly three decades.
In the early morning of August 13, 1961, armed soldiers marched through Berlin and blocked streets with barricades, barbed wire and concrete columns. This is how the so-called “Wall of Shame” was created, the last link in a series of measures to stop the incessant flight of the East German residents.
According to the investigators, at least 140 people died in Berlin after the wall was built as a result of the border regime of the German Democratic Republic (GDR). Chris Gueffroy was the last GDR citizen killed while trying to penetrate the western sector.
His mother, Karin Gueffroy, was one of the few people who attended the ceremony that took place this Thursday at the memorial on Bernauer Strasse. The State Secretary for Culture, Monika Grütters, and the Mayor of Berlin, Michael Müller, each laid wreaths.
The Wall Foundation has declared that only 20 people were able to take part in the memorial event this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, in which 219,964 people are already infected and 9,211 deaths have already occurred in Germany.